Siiickbrain Lets Us Into Her 'MY MASOCHISTIC MIND'
LA-based fashion model and alt-metal musician Siiickbrain, neé Caroline Miner Smith, has finally dropped her long-awaited debut album, MY MASOCHISTIC MIND. The eleven-track body of work is a cohesive project that beautifully blends alternative, rock, metal, industrial, and electronic, conveying a deeply moving and chaotic story that examines themes of mental health, relationships, and death through a gritty lens. She smashes the proverbial rose-colored glasses and looks at life for what it is for many, fucking brutal.
The opening track, "Three Eyes," starts the album with layers of blistering 808s, haunting screams, and Smith's smokey and magnetic vocals. She admits to feeling dead inside and wanting to feel something, anything, resulting in her taking a mushroom and, unfortunately, becoming overwhelmed by feelings of petrifying fear and anxiety, overanalyzing the question, "Why am I alive?" Throughout the track, she thinks about the people who called her weak and never thought she would make it this far in her life, mulling over her intrusive thoughts, her bad habit of hiding her feelings, and macabre self-deprecating jokes, leading to an explosive final breakdown that sees Siiickbrain tell wounded self to "ignore it, watch and absorb it."
The record seamlessly transitions into the previously released "Psycopath." The achingly cathartic single touches on the profoundly relatable scenario of being consumed by the pressure one puts on oneself. The song lyrically mirrors the disorienting production, adding to the track's goal of describing how people can slip in and out of reality when they become so deeply lost in their future and what it holds. Siiickbrain's screaming vocals almost snap the listener back into reality as she reminds them that you "Can't ignore a psychopath" and that the only way out is to push through.
Throughout MY MASOCHISTIC MIND, Smith weaves a tapestry of intricate craftsmanship, oozing with sweet despair and fueled by driving production. Some standout tracks include "Liar," an ode to heartbreak and how we enter and leave this world alone, "14 Needles," an addictive metal rave banger, and the anxiety-inspired anthem "Die Quietly." The latter of which slips into a head-nodding beat as Siiickbrain sings of the debilitating feeling that consumes her when she experiences anxiety. This cut departs from her screamo blasts, opting for an approach that mesmerizes rather than punches, giving a spotlight to her thought-provoking lyrics.
The back half of the album is also jam-packed with a myriad of bangers, most notably the industrial and spectral "Idols" and "I am a Machine." The latter mixes layers of classic angsty guitar riffs and high-octane percussion with heavily digitized accents.
The rabbit hole reaches its final peak on the bittersweet finale, "Emergency." Starting on a briefly stripped-down moment, Smith croons over delicate piano, "Have I gone blind? / I don't know where to find myself / There's not much time / I'm holding on to what is left." The track builds again with seething guitar riffs, catchy percussion, and thrumming bass leading the charge under Smith's rich vocals. She cries out, "Take what you need / But leave something for me," because now, as opposed to the start of the album, she feels everything. Sultry whispers ask for a fire to start within her body, and she consents to teeth being sunken into her skin, allowing whoever she is serenading to drink to their fill. The seductive pre-chorus and the interlacing climactic choruses add to the artist's feelings of being surrounded. She begs and screams at the listener to "help them for me" before the last atmospheric chorus comes to a melancholic, piano-led close.
Listen to MY MASOCHISTIC MIND below: